JICA Knowledge Co-Creation Program (Group &. Region Focus) FY2017 “Comprehensive Disaster Management on Small Islands (B)” implemented (August 16 – September 21, 2017)
Kochi University implemented the JICA Knowledge Co-Creation Program (Group &. Region Focus) “Comprehensive Disaster Management on Small Islands (B)” in Kobe City, Miyagi Prefecture and Kochi Prefecture from Wednesday, August 16 to Thursday, September 21, which consisted of lectures, study tours and presentations on a range of disaster management techniques.
This training course, which had been commissioned to Kochi University by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) as part of Japan’s official development assistance (ODA), invited 16 administrative officials from 12 different countries: five Oceanian countries (Fiji, Micronesia, Niue, Papua New Guinea and Tonga), six Caribbean countries (Bahama, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent) and the Nicobar Islands of India. In Kobe City, the participants started by sharing information through analyzing and giving presentations on the disaster management situations and challenges of their respective countries. Then, they visited the Disaster Reduction and Human Renovation Institution to see exhibits concerning the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake and attended lectures provided by the local fire department as to voluntary disaster risk reduction activities conducted by communities to develop better knowledge and understanding about community-level disaster management efforts.
In Miyagi Prefecture, they visited areas hit by the Great East Japan Earthquake, namely Sendai City, Higashi Matsushima City, Minami Sanriku Town and Kesennuma City to listen to local administrative officials, survivors and residents’ associations about the current state of recovery and future disaster management measures and see affected sites with their own eyes.
The last destination was Kochi Prefecture where they attended disaster management lectures given by the prefectural government, local meteorological observatory and municipalities, and participated in study tours on voluntary disaster risk reduction activities hosted by local residents in Kochi City and Muroto City.
In Kochi City, they mainly learned about what measures were in place to protect the city against tsunami and landslides through activities such as visiting Kure Elementary School in Nakatosa Town to observe disaster management education provided by the school and taking part in a study tour of the Nahari-gawa River to see a sand control dam and gabion-based river control adopted there.
Toward the end of the training course, each participant delivered an action plan presentation on how they could apply the disaster management knowledge and experience they had acquired in Japan to their own country. They made a broad range of proposals, including proposals on communication of disaster-related information to residents, seismic retrofitting of facilities, and establishment and announcement of evacuation centers and routes leading to them.
The feedback we received from the participants includes: “I was impressed by the risk awareness that individual residents had in relation to disaster preparedness and by the fact that each municipality had their own disaster management measures,” and “I was moved to see how local communities make daily efforts to increase their disaster awareness and conduct regular training.”
Kochi University will provide another international training on community disaster management in November and December. After that, the university will continue to implement international training on disaster management in the next academic year as well, as part of its efforts to promote the sharing of local knowledge and experience with the world.
＜Observing landforms in 3D with 3D glasses
at Muroto Geopark＞
＜Exchange of views with a voluntary disaster
management organization in Mitsu, Muroto＞
＜JICA staff member giving advice on
how to improve their action plans＞
＜Group photo taken to commemorate
the closing ceremony＞